The company IP Innovation has filled an “patent infringement claim” against the two largest Linux Distributors. The patent in question is about a “user interface with multiple workspaces for sharing display system objects”.
The battle has begun. The first patent infringement claim against Linux is out there and two big Linux distributors will have to defend in court. Groklaw has more information and the text of the complaints.
This comes only days after Microsoft’s Ballmer attacked Red Hat Linux users.
IP Innovation already made such claims against Apple this year. However, Apple settled the the patent dispute without any further details.
While it doesn’t sound good that there is now a patent claim against Linux there is hope that a court find these claims not valid. Keep in mind that in these days the US courts are slowly moving regarding stupid or invalid patent claims. Also, this process will now show how vulnerable the Linux ecosystem really is against patent claims – and how well it can be defended. I must add at this point that I’m somewhat happy that there have been the SCO claims in the last years. Due to SCO the Linux community now has a well working and well established community of people who know their way about laws and courts: Groklaw. I’m anxious to see which role Groklaw will play in this act.